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Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Claim Against Florida Atlantic University

A wrongful death claim the mother of an accident victim filed against Florida Atlantic University came to a settlement in February. According to the mother of the deceased young woman, a former police officer at FAU shot her daughter on January 31, 2011, resulting in her passing away four days later at a local medical center.

The terms of the settlement agreement were confidential, according to information from the Orlando Sun-Sentinel. A university spokesperson said that the settlement was merely granted as a way to dismiss the “meritless claims” of the woman and her family, and that FAU was not admitting to any wrongdoing.

However, the former officer had a clear history of violent behavior before he was convicted for kidnapping and first-degree murder in the case in question. He received two life sentences for the murder of the young woman. His record included termination from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in 2004 after a violent fight with his wife, and 11 other police departments turned him down in job interviews because of his background. FAU hired him in 2006.

According to the victim’s mother, FAU was negligent in hiring the former officer because school officials should have known he was dangerous from his background and the fact that other law enforcement officers had declined to hire him. With the settlement, however, the case is now permanently closed.

Business, organizations and institutions are expected to perform due diligence when hiring employees to ensure they are able to safely do their jobs. If they are negligent in the individuals they hire, they could be partially liable if an employee causes serious injuries or death to others.

To learn more about wrongful death lawsuits in Florida, reach out to the experienced Orlando attorneys at the Law Offices of Salazar & Kelly.

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